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Rowing is an incredible sport for many reasons: it is a great way to gain cardiovascular fitness, builds full body muscle strength, promotes weight loss and reduces stress. But due to the nature of rowing, it is also closely associated with a number of injuries. Most rowing injuries are related to overloading and poor biomechanics that can be due to incorrect technique, lack of experience and changing sides that the oar is on (if using a sweep boat).
Why technique is so important:
The rowing stroke is a continuous cycle that is divided into the catch, drive, finish and the recovery. The drive requires the rower to sequentially use their legs, followed by body and then arms while the recovery sequence is the reverse. Incorrect technique can therefore lead to overuse injuries as the rower is repeating incorrect movement patterns. For example, poor technique through the recovery such as lunging too far forward at the catch can put rowers in risk of shoulder and back injuries. While poor technique at the finish such as hunching through the shoulders and leaning too far back can increase pressure through spinal discs.
Common injury sites for rowers:
How to reduce/prevent injury from rowing:
Immediate management for your rowing injury:
At CSSM we are able to assess and treat your rowing injuries as well as use our software to analyse your technique using the ergometer.
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5. Smoljanovic T, Bojanic I, Hannafin JA, Hren D, Delimar D, Pecina M. Traumatic and overuse injuries among international elite junior rowers. The American journal of sports medicine. 2009;37(6):1193-1199.
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